Powerful and moving poem Essay
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The vulnerability of a country that is vast and until this point as pointed out “in worth and name”. Though time has passed and “smokes dark bruise/ has paled”, it is a “wound” that is exposed beneath such bruising. The personification of the smoke highlights the weakness in humans, and then being carried onto the country itself, yet it is “soothed” by nature, “dabbed at and eased by rain”. It is as if the environment is attempting to heal the ‘exposed wound’.
However the use of yet use of the word “exposing” highlights the scale of this devastation; it is as though it has been uncovered and peeled back- the country’s vulnerability is exposed and it is manifested in destruction and loss. The fact that the smoke “has paled” highlights that time has passed in which the wound has become clear to onlookers, and this wound is not only literal but metaphorical- the country is injured and was exposed to threat at that precise moment. The image of the ‘half-excoriated Apple Mac’ is presented as a metaphor for the attack that has affected the big apple.
The Apple-Mac is “half –excoriated”- flayed, stripped of its skin, much like the country itself. The word “excoriated” is almost onomatopoeic as it mimics the stripped flesh (which is associated with great pain). This would cause great grief across the intended audience, and it will most likely bring back memories across the listeners. It is also significant that the Apple-Mac is described to have been “half –excoriated”- flayed, stripped of its skin, which is a similarity at this point of time as the country itself; America.
The fact that the computer ‘still quotes’ Dow Jones, although it would take one person’s knowledge to know that the stock markets that day had crashed. This will also show how not only did America suffer from the losses, and ruin, but they did financially. The use of “hindsight” and “retrospect” in the sixth and seventh stanzas is indicative of the time that has passed to now look back upon the attack, perhaps in disbelief, shock, horror, and in some aspects we find ourselves awing and this suggested by the reference to the “weird prospect / of a passenger plane beading an office block”.
The “force” is a nameless enemy, it does not have shape or form or identifying features and this reinforces its threat and perhaps its inevitability “moving headlong forwards, locked on a collision course”. The use of locked creates the impression that such a “collision course” is indeed inescapable- there is no getting away from that which is locked, it is immoveable and in this case pre-destined. In the Last stanza Armitage recalls the time when television footage showed helpless victims jumping from the flaming towers.
The worlds which “thinned to an instant” make “furious contact”- this implies a fusion of anger and great energy, the fury spelling out wrath and pain. ”. This moment of time is explored by Armitage in the final stanza; “during which”- highlighting the passage of time in which the media “framed/ moments of grace”. “Earth and heaven fused. ” Armitage draws together celestial and earthly beings in the collision of earth and sky, life and death, terror and peace to mere “moments. Here the knowledge of the reader is called upon as one recalls the television footage of helpless victims jumping from the flaming towers.
From this we determine that Armitage has made this poem with a hidden yearn to try and move the reader and intended audience with his strong choice of words. Whilst being simplistic, they are ‘given’ power by the genre and situation they are put into. By Arjun Nazran 10H Page of 2 Show preview only The above preview is unformatted text This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Poets section.